LPS encourages all staff members to be up-to-date on measles vaccinations
We are very lucky in Nebraska with a 96.2 percent vaccination rate against measles, which means the chances of a measles case in Lincoln is reduced significantly. However, with the number of confirmed measles cases rising across the country - including in surrounding states - measles could come to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Those who are up-to-date on their measles immunizations, reduce the chances of contracting the disease to less than a three percent.
But we know there are those who are not vaccinated. Lincoln Public Schools encourages all staff members to make sure they are up-to-date on their measles vaccinations.
What you need to know about measles:
- Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air by an affected person coughing and sneezing. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90 percent of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.
- The virus can stay active in the air in a room/space for up to two hours after an affected person has left the area. The virus cannot be spread by touching a surface after an affected person has touched the same surface.
- Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body.
- An infected person can spread measles to others even before developing symptoms—from four days before they develop the measles rash through four days afterward.
- Children younger than five years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are at high risk of getting a serious case of measles if they are not vaccinated.
- One out of four people who get measles will be hospitalized. One out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling due to infection, which may lead to brain damage. One or two people out of 1,000 with measles will die, even with the best care.
What you can do to protect yourself, your family, your co-workers and your students:
- Adults born in or after 1957 should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR or other evidence of measles immunity. Those in this age group who need a second dose include:
- Postsecondary educational students
- International travelers
- Healthcare personnel
- Persons with HIV and a CD4 count ≥ 200 cells/μl for at least 6 months
- Household or close personal contacts of immunocompromised persons with no evidence of immunity.
- Older adults born before 1957 are generally considered immune to measles, mumps and rubella. This is acceptable evidence of immunity unless they work in healthcare facilities.
- If you are unsure about the status of your vaccinations, get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. It does not hurt you to get an extra dose if you are unsure.
- Talk with your healthcare provider.
For more information about measles and what we can do to protect our community, visit this website: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); About the Measles
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 436-1655.
Thank you for taking the protection of our students seriously.
Wendy Rau, RN
Health Services Supervisor
Published: May 15, 2019, Updated: May 15, 2019